Essay On Thomas Jefferson's Views On Slavery

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In the draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson condemned England for forcing slavery upon America, and then using the slaves to combat the American Revolution. He believed that slaves were justifiable enemies and that the presence of slavery would destroy the Republic. Although Jefferson believed that no man had the right to enslave another, he did not believe that Blacks were equal to whites. Slavery did in fact become a polarizing policy, and the division between Americans led to the cession of southern states and a Civil War. The problems leading to and the resolutions of the war proved to be just as complicated as Thomas Jefferson’s views on race and slavery.
A believer in John Locke’s theories of natural rights, Jefferson
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Where the Native Americans seemed to be able to assimilate into American culture based on their intelligence, he believed blacks were innately unintelligent. (Jefferson 94) While he believed the Native Americans would intermarry with the American people, he also believed that intermarriage between the white race and the degenerate black race would contribute to the degradation of the country (Jefferson 405). Southern Legislatures with nearly the same viewpoints created laws that would limit the rights of freed people. Among outlawing intermarriage between whites and blacks, people of African descent were not allowed to hold office, serve on juries, testify in a court case, vote in any election, or keep firearms (Black Codes 573-580). Southern legislators were not the only ones concerned with the role of former slaves in America. In “How the Negroes Treat the Whites” by a Staunton Spectator, the author expressed how blacks in political power deny privileges to the whites. This writer went on to express his frustration with the government in trying to bring together two “incompatible” races (Virginia and Pennsylvania Newspapers on Reconstruction 582). The direct cause of the Black Codes is the fear of black overthrow of white rights and privileges. Immediate integration into society was thought of as a death sentence to American culture and the rights of white Americans. Fearing the loss

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